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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Telecom Regulations: Hike on ISP License, Voice over 4G, Spectrum Swap for 4G Players


Indian government is again to milk the telecommunication sector, as media reports are saying that government is going to revise pan India ISP license charges, as well as to implement new charges on mobile operators as they are offering internet services...
BWA 4G Spectrum India Map
As per  Internet Service Providers Association of India (ISPAI), DoT is finalizing a framework which will ask for Rs 15 crore for country wide unified license from internet service provider. Now ISPs have to pay Rs 30 lakh. This policy will going to hurt India’s broadband penetration for sure, as ISPs may charge high for internet or broadband services.
There has been talks to implement new charging regimen towards mobile operators as they are offering internet services (over EDGE/3G/CDMA 1x or EVDO). If you are following recent tariff hike on 2G data segment, you can think about more hike in coming days if the policy gets approved.
Voice Services over 4G/LTEIt has also been learnt that Department of Telecom (DoT) is also planning to allow voice services for 4G/BWA operators. This will directly benefit Reliance Infotel Broadband (now Reliance Jio Infocomm), Tikona and Augere – the companies without existing mobile services in country won BWA spectrum in 2010. There were heavy lobbying by GSM operators to hold voice services on 4G.
Telecom Commision will come up with final draft of the policy to offer voice on 4G. Recently both Airtel and Infotel tested voice options over 4G. Airtel tested voice over LTE as well as fall back to 2G/3G options to offer voice services on its up and running LTE-TDD network. Airtel even announced country’s first LTE-TD smartphone with Huawei. To offer voice services over 4G companies will have to shell out Rs 1658 crores ($306 million).
Spectrum Swapping for 4G PlayersBusiness-Standard reports that DoT is playing with the idea to offer spectrum exchange offer to 4G players. In 2010 companies won spectrum on 2300 MHz band. DoT is planning to conduct auction for 700MHz band in 2014-15. 700MHz band can offer more coverage with less number of towers, but 2300MHz can be suited in a dense population.
It is almost certain that 700 MHz spectrum will be priced too high, as high as 10 times than 2300MHz band. So swapping option does not look good in metro or category A circles or in category C circles.
This government with too many scams and corruption is making too many mistakes, and in last 2 years it had made the once-booming telecom sector a hell. Oldboys at policy maker offices do not, and never understand young India’s need.

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